vijayawada l saturday l november 28, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Govt caps cab AGGReGATORS’ COMMISSION AT 20% of fare As per the guidelines issued by the Union Transport ministry on Friday, 80% of the total fare must go to driver partners surge pricing limit fixed at 1.5x All-female pool option for women In what could be a relief to the riders, the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines stipulate that the surge price imposed during peak hours be capped at 1.5 times the base fare. It also allows the aggregator to charge a fare that is 50% lower than the base fare when the demand is low. Where taxi fare has not been determined by the local government, `25-30 will be the base fare | P10 ■ ■ ■ Drivers welcomed it, but said the commission should be capped at 10%. At present, cab aggregators charge 25-30% According to the guidelines, women riders opting to pool their trips should be able to do so with only female passengers Cancellation fee of 10% applicable to drivers if they cancel trips 15-day Training must be provided for new drivers by the Aggregator CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Delhi gate opens after clashes Farmers permitted to hold protest at Capital’s Burari ground, but opt to stay put at border E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh/Lucknow Police fire water canon on farmers marching towards Delhi, protesting the Centre’s farm reforms, at Singhu Border | Shekhar Yadav After intense clashes at the Delhi border, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reaches out, invites farmers’ organisations for a fresh round of talks on the new farm laws on December 3 With the AAP supporting the agitation, the Delhi govt rejects the Delhi Police’s request to convert stadiums inside the city into temporary jails to house the detained farmers “While a section of farmers want to block the highway to pressure the Centre, others want to protest at the designated Nirankari ground,’’ said a farmer leader on condition of anonymity Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana clashed at least thrice with the Delhi Police on Friday as they were prevented from entering the Capital even as Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged them to end the agitation and come for the third round of talks on December 3. “The government has always been ready to discuss issues. We have invited farmers’ organisations for another round of talks on December 3,” Tomar said in a statement. But his appeal hardly found any takers as the far mers stayed put at Delhi’s doorstep, blocking the national highway to Chandigarh. They also ignored the Delhi Police, which after blocking their entry into the Capital, permitted them to go to the Nirankari ground in north Delhi’s Burari area to stage their protest. The Punjab and Haryana farmers received support from their Uttar Pradesh counterparts, with the Bharatiya Kisan Union holding sit-in protests across several districts of west Recession stays, but recovery faster than thought E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi India’s economy, on a slowdown path since March 2018 and pummelled by the coronavirus pandemic, has officially entered recession with GDP growth contracting 7.5% yearon-year in the July-September 2020 quarter. This is, however, a notable improvement from the mindnumbing 23.9% decline in the previous three-month period (April-June 2020). Recession is when economic growth rate is negative for two consecutive quarters or more. Assuming a 5-6% trendline growth, the effective output loss during the first half of the current fiscal is upwards `20 lakh crore. On the brighter side, the data released by the National Statistics Office on Friday have come as a relief as various projections had pegged GDP growth to be much worse. Even Reserve Bank of India’s forecast was a contraction of 8.6%. This, according to economists, shows the economy is healing faster than thought. In absolute numbers, national output fell to `33.14 lakh crore from `35 lakh crore recorded in the year-ago period. In the previous quarter, it had stood at `26.9 lakh crore. So, on a sequential basis, it amounts to a growth of 23.2%. While the danger of a second Core output shrinks Contracting for the 8th straight month, the output of eight core infra sectors fell 2.5% in October, mainly due to decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and steel wave of the pandemic still looms large, experts believe the worst may be over as most economic parameters have improved on the back of resumption in economic activities. For example, manufacturing and electricity sectors bounced back, growing 0.6% and 4.4%, respectively. Agriculture continued to grow, at 3.4%, while the trade and services sector showed lower-than-expected contraction at 15.6%. UP and blocking highways. Other than the Yamuna Expressway the BKU protested at , Ba ghpat, Muzaf f ar na g ar, Meerut, Bijnor, Hapur, Shamli, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Noida, Moradabad and Saharanpur. Officials in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs maintained that the government is in constant touch with the concerned states to maintain the law and order situation. In many areas along the Delhi border, such as Tikri, Singhu border, protesters refused to move to the Nirankari ground. At Tikri border, the Delhi Police took hundreds of farmers to the Nirankari ground but the protestors returned to the border. At the Singhu border, the farmers instead sought permission to protest at the Ramlila maidan instead. “We are not moving anywhere now. We have enough dal, wheat and gas to prepare our own food. We will stay here till Saturday morning as more farmers are coming to join us. We are in talks with our unions and representatives. Once they reach, we will move to the Nirankari ground,” said farmers at the Singhu border. P7 express read Sushil Modi gets Rajya Sabha by-election ticket New Delhi: The BJP on Friday nominated former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi for the Rajya Sabha by-elections from the State necessitated after the demise of former Union minister and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan. While the LJP was hoping to get a party nominee into the Rajya Sabha, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) didn’t want any truck with the Chirag Paswan-led outfit | P8 Breach in Didi’s fort as transport minister quits Kolkata: The fault lines within the ruling Trinamool Congress widened on Friday with Suvendu Adhikari, the transport and irrigation and waterways minister, resigning from the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet. Adhikari is known for his organisational skills and has a support base in East Midnapore district and some other parts of the State. He emailed his resignation to the CM and Governor | P8 30.6 lakh people will get house sites, says Cabinet E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday resolved to launch , ‘Pedalandariki Illu’, a flagship programme of the YSRC government, on December 25. Under the scheme, 30.6 lakh people will get house site pattas. For this, the gover nment has acquired 66,518 acres, valued at `23,000 crore. As many as 25,193 acres are government land, while the remaining 22,342 acres were acquired from private parties. Briefing the media about the Cabinet resolutions, Minister for Agriculture Kurasala Kannababu said beneficiaries will initially be given D-form pattas, and once the legal cases are resolved, land deeds will be handed over. A total of 17,500 layouts will be developed in 11,000 panchayats for the scheme, he added. The Cabinet also gave its consent to construct houses for Pedalandariki Illu beneficiaries under YSR - Jagananna Colonies. As many as 28.3 lakh houses will be built in phases over three years. In the first phase, 16 lakh houses will be constructed in 8,494 layouts. Each house is expected to cost `1.8 lakh, and a total of `28,800 crore will be spent on the scheme. The first phase is to be completed in 18 months, and construction is to begin on December 25. The minister said the Cabinet resolved to pay Dearness Allowance (DA) arrears to government employees and pensioners pending since July 2018 in three phases. From July 2018 to January 2019, DA has been increased by 3.144 per cent, which will be paid from January 2021 onwards. DA from January 2019 to July 2019 has been increased by 3.144 per cent and will be paid from July 2021. DA from July 2019 has been enhanced by 5.24 per cent and will be paid to government employees and pensioners P4 from January 2022. Harvested paddy submerged in rainwater on the outskirts of Vijayawada on Friday; (right) DSP B Sunil distributes food to the people lodged at a relief camp in Kadapa on Friday | P Ravindra Babu / Express Evacuated families to get `500; subsidy for affected ryots E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday directed officials to pay `500 as immediate aid to the families in relief camps. After a detailed discussion at the Cabinet meeting held on Friday he told the offi, cials concerned to enumerate the crop loss due to cyclone Nivar by December 15 and provide compensation to farmers by December 31. He further directed them to distribute seeds and offer 80 per cent subsidy to farmers who lost their crop. Ex-gratia and compensation with regard to loss of human life and dam- Six people were rescued from the river Pinchta in Nellore on Friday | Express age to property will be paid as per the guidelines, he said. The Chief Minister is scheduled to take an aerial survey of cyclone-affected areas on Saturday. After the aerial survey, Beat the bribe Officer gets public to take anti-corruption pledge E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Srikakulam In an attempt to eliminate corruption, a young revenue officer is encouraging farmers and the general public to give an undertaking that they won’t offer bribes for any revenue department-related work. Rajam tahsildar P Venugopal Rao initiated his anti-corruption drive three days ago, and has received such undertakings from about 100 people so far. People generally offer bribes to revenue officials to get their work done without a delay. ACB sleuths have caught such officials red-handed. Venugopal Rao, meanwhile, has been raising awareness about corruption among the people who visit him at his office for work, and also tells them to pass the message on to others. Rather than just focusing on telling officials to abstain from corruption, Venugopal Rao seeks to bring about a change from the other end as well. “Revenue officials are often blamed for indulging in corruption, so I launched this drive to make them feel proud. I have received good support from the officials and the public,” he said. The revenue department in the mandal has 22 village revenue officers, besides VRAs and 10 other staff, he added. “Though we raised awareness against corruption by erecting banners and posters, and held meetings with officials, the results were not as expected. The change needs to start in the minds of both the public and the officials,” he said, adding that a few revenue officials recently approached him and promised to carry on the message to society at large, to rid it of corruption. Recounting his experience, Yalamanchili Bandari, a farmer from Gadimudidam village in Rajam mandal, said, “I was impressed with the ideology of the mandal tahsildar and gave an undertaking that I won’t offer a bribe. I will also tell others about it.” he will hold a review meeting at Tirupati with the Collectors of Nellore, Chittoor and YSR Kadapa districts. Nellore, Prakasam and the Rayalaseema districts bore the brunt of cyclone Nivar, and received almost 188 per cent excess rainfall. Five mandals in Chittoor, two each in Nellore and Kadapa, and one mandal in Prakasam district witnessed extremely heavy rainfall. As per the preliminary information officials provided to the Cabinet, 664 houses were inundated, 673 were damaged, and over 10,000 people are lodged in 147 relief camps. Till Thursday evening, crop loss was reported on 29,752 hectares in Chittoor, Nellore, Kadapa and Prakasam districts. Paddy (16,290 hectares), black gram (7,362 hectares), cotton (3,571 hectares) and other crops (2,529 hectares) were damaged by the cyclone. Toll in State rises to 3 The body of a farmer was retrieved from the Rallamadugu stream In Chittoor, the body of a YSRC activist was fished out of a stream. He was in a car that got washed away Earlier, a man succumbed in Nellore What to expect A low pressure area is likely to form over Southeast Bay of Bengal in 48 hrs IMD officials say it is likely to concentrate into a depression during the subsequent 24 hours and may intensify and bring more rain to AP It is likely to reach the TN-Puducherry coast on December 2 Ramesh Hosp MD to be interrogated E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday allowed custodial interrogation of Dr Pothineni Ramesh Babu, MD of the Ramesh Cardiac Multi-specialty Hospital, in the Swarna Palace hotel fire accident case. It directed the Dr Ramesh Babu to present himself before Additional Deputy Commissioner, who is the investigating officer, between Nov 30 and Dec 2. He can be questioned from 10 am to 5 pm during the three days in the presence of his lawyer after taking all the Covid-19related precuations, it ruled. It also directed the police not to use third degree techniques and keep in mind human rights during the interrogation. The ruling was delivered by Justice C Manavendranath after Dr Ramesh Babu agreed to appear before the police. Ten people died in the fire accident at Swarna Palace in August. The police had then registered a case against the Ramesh Hospital’s management, which was running a Covid care centre at the ill-fated hotel. However, the HC had stayed further action in the case after Dr Ramesh Babu filed a petition seeking to quash the case against him. Subsequently, the State government approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court stay orders. The apex court found fault with the high court orders and cleared the way for the investigation. Keep human rights in mind, HC tells police The High Court directed the police not to use third degree techniques, and keep in mind human rights, while interrogating Dr Pothineni Ramesh Babu, who is to present himself before the Additional Deputy Commissioner between November 30 and December 2
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